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Category Archive for ‘NV-Gov’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'NV-Gov' Category


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

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Poll watch: Democrats are strong in IL, have a shot in SD; Castle and Burr dominate

I wouldn’t go as far as to describe this week’s polling round-up as generally good for Democrats; after all, numerous of their House incumbents look vulnerable, Rob Portman retains a small lead in Ohio, Castle dominates, Richard Burr is up by double-digits and Pete Domenici is closer to Diane Denish than New Mexico Democrats would like. Yet, there is plenty for the party to point to as evidence that they are managing to stay afloat and that the GOP still has a lot of work to do to ensure they’ll benefit from as big a red wave as they’re hoping to. In particular, Research 2000’s Illinois poll and Quinnipiac’s Ohio survey find Democrats Alexi Giannoulias, Pat Quinn and Ted Strickland in stronger positions than conventional wisdom dictates; Democrats look like they have an unexpectedly credible shot at South Dakota’s governorship; and Rep. Harry Teague is in a far more competitive position than you would expect given that he is often described as one of November’s surest Democratic losers (2 polls have him within the MoE against former Rep. Steve Pearce).

House

New Mexico: It’s rare enough to have one House survey a week that PPP’s decision to test all three of New Mexico’s House races was a one of the week’s treats. The results are encouraging for both parties, though the most poll’s most surprising finding will delight the NRCC: Rep. Ben Lujan, who represents a district Obama won by 23% and who I had never heard described as competitive, leads his two Republican challengers by decidedly underwhelming margins: 42% to 36% against Tom Mullins, 40% to 32% against Adam Kokesh. That’s not to say he will lose, nor that the race will be competitive come the fall, but it does speak to the probability that a number of Democratic districts that are now on no one’s radar screen should find themselves vulnerable in the campaign’s final stretch (see what happened to the GOP in 2006). Interestingly, Rep. Martin Heinrich, a more obvious target since he is a freshman, leads Jon Barela by a somewhat more solid 45% to 36%.

But the more interesting race is happening NM-02, which is not only the state’s most conservative seat (it went for Bush by 17%) but former Rep. Steve Pearce is running for his old seat after running for Governor in 2008. This has led many to think Rep. Teague is one of the fall’s surest losers, which makes Pearce’s 43% to 41% lead seem like it should be a relief for Democrats as it certainly shows Teague is far from a sure loser. (In particular, consider that the traditional rules about how a challenger topping an incumbent in an early poll is clearly favored does not apply here since Pearce is probably better-known than the incumbent.) On the other hand, the poll should not be spun as bad news for the GOP: The bottom-line is that NM-02 is one of the party’s top pick-up opportunities indeed. In fact, Pearce released an internal poll last week showing himself leading 48% to 44%.

SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin remains on top of her Republican opponents in a new Rasmussen poll, but Secretary of State Chris Nelson is within striking distance since he holds the incumbent Democrat under 50% and within single-digit: She leads 45% to 38%. Herseth-Sandlin is far stronger against Kristi Noem (49% to 34%) and against state Rep Blake Curd (51% to 33%), which certainly suggests she is in a far stronger position than many of her fellow Democrats. As the poll’s gubernatorial numbers also speak to (see below), South Dakotans don’t look committed to ushering in GOP rule.

Senate

Ohio: Democrats might be losing ground in Senate races left and right, but they remain in striking distance of picking-up Ohio’s open seat according to Quinnipiac’s new poll. Republican Rob Portman is up within the margin of error (40-37) against Democrat Lee Fisher and he leads 40-35 against Jennifer Brunner. These margins are similar to those Quinnipiac found back in November, though it should be said that both Democratic candidates spent much of 2009 crushing Portman by double-digits - an advantage that was erased as the electorate soured on the the party in the latter half of the year. Despite their prominent stature, all three candidates have low name recognition so the next few months could be crucial - starting with the run-up to the Democratic primary.

Florida: Rasmussen found more evidence of Charlie Crist’s collapse this week by showing Marco Rubio crushing him 54% to 36% - an unthinkable result just a few months ago that is now already coming to be expected; the pollster also confirms that Crist’s decline is due to his rising unpopularity among the electorate-at-large and not just among Republicans, since his once impressive approval rating is now down to 52-45. In the general election, both men lead Kendrick Meek by large margins: Crist is up 48-32, Rubio is up 51-31. But is it time to start testing 3-way match-ups with Crist as an independent?

Delaware: For once, Rasmussen and Research 2000 have similar results! The former shows Republican Rep. Mike Castle in control 53% to 32% (though the margin has shrunk by 7% since January) while the latter has him leading 53% to 35%. That does little to change the race’s “likely Republican” rating (especially when we consider Castle’s formidable 65/30 and 65/32 favorability ratings) but given the two candidates’ chances of stature the trendline also confirms it is too early for Democrats to give up.

North Carolina: Rasmussen released the most favorable poll Richard Burr is gotten in quite a while - far more favorable, in fact, than the survey PPP released last week. Not only does the Republican senator have large leads, but he also reaches 50%: He’s up 50-34 against Elaine Marshall and 51-29 against Cal Cunningham. Of course, Democrats long ago realized defeating Burr is a top proposition in this environment, but these numbers are nonetheless ugly for the party. On the other hand, an Elon University poll finds that only 24% of North Carolinians think Burr deserves re-election, versus 51% who think he should be replaced.

Pennsylvania: Franklin & Marshall sends some very ugly numbers Democrats’ way, though the bizarrely high number of undecided makes it hard to do much else than point to the wide disparity between the match-ups among registered voters and among likely voters. In the former group, Arlen Specter leads Pat Toomey 33% to 29% while Joe Sestak is only 3% behind (25-22); in the latter group, Toomey crushes both Democrats - 44-34 against Specter, 38-20 against Sestak. Could there be clearer signs of the turnout gap that’s threatening to submerge Democrats this fall?

Governor

Illinois/Ohio: I mentioned Quinnipiac and Research 2000’s polls finding Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and Ted Strickland in the lead in an earlier post, but the results are counter-intuitive enough that they bear repeating. In Ohio, Quinnipiac shows Strickand leading John Kasich 44% to 39%, which is obviously an underwhelming margin but is nonetheless an improvement over the 40-40 tie Quinnipiac found in November and is a far more encouraging result for Democrat than the large deficits Rasmussen has found in recent months; Strickland had almost started to look like a lost cause, but these numbers from a respected pollster suggest Ohio is definitely still winnable for Democrats.

In Illinois, Research 2000 has Governor Pat Quinn leading state Senator Kirk Dillard and state Senator Bill Brady 46-35 and 47-32. He might remain under 50%, but remember that in early February Quinn looked so damaged that he seemed to be marching towards a primary defeat. Yet, this is now the second post-primary poll to find him in command of the general election (the first was released last week), especially if his opponent is the more conservative Bill Brady - as still looks likely since Dillard has failed to overtake Brady after weeks of provisional ballot.

South Dakota: Would you have expected the week’s polling surprise to be that Democrats have a strong shot at picking up the governorship of this conservative state? Yea, me neither - especially considering that this finding comes out of a Rasmussen poll. Matched-up against three Republicans, state Senate Minority Leader Scott Heidepreim holds his own: While he trails Lieutenant Governor Dennis Daugaard 41% to 32%, he is ahead against two other Republicans: 37% to 29% against state Senator Gordon Howie and 34% to 31% against state Senator Dave Knudson. That is of course nothing huge, but it certainly suggest that South Dakota voters aren’t desperate to jump in the GOP’s bandwagon.

New Mexico: It helps to have a famous name! While Pete Domenici Jr. has never been in the public spotlight before, he shares the first and last name of his father, former Senator Pete Domenici, which explains how his name recognition is so much higher in a new PPP poll than that of his fellow Republican candidates. The general election match-ups show that the contest is winnable by the GOP but that Democratic Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish is the front-runner: She leads Domenici Jr. 45-40, state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones 47-33 and DA Susana Martinez 46-42. One important factor in this campaign is whether Denish can free herself from Bill Richardson’s shadow: The outgoing governor has a catastrophic approval rating (28% to 63%).

Nevada: Earlier this week, I highlighted a POS poll that showed Governor Jim Gibbons improving his position in the GOP primary, which he was long expected not to have a chance at winning. Now, a Mason-Dixon poll confirms that Gibbons is increasingly competitive against Brian Sandoval: He trails 37% to 30%, whereas he was behind by 17% in Mason-Dixon’s prior poll. Given Gibbons’s worst-in-the-country approval rating of 17%, whether he can find a way to survive the primary will obviously go a long way towards determining the general election: While Sandoval crushes Rory Reid 51% to 29%, the Democrat tops Gibbons 42% to 38%. (The fact that Gibbons is within 4% of Reid says a lot about the latter’s weakness.)

Massachussetts: Despite a weak approval rating (35-54), Deval Patrick manages to stay on top of Suffolk’s general election match-ups because many voters who are discontent with him are choosing to support Democrat-turned-independent Tom Cahill, who enjoys a 31/16 favorability rating. Patrick tops Republican Charlie Baker 33% to 25%, with Cahill receiving 23% and 3% going to Green Party candidate Stein; if the Republican nominee is Christy Mihos, which at the moment seems unlikely given baker’s 47-17 primary lead, Patrick leads Cahill 34% to 26%, with 19% for Mihos. The main reason Democrats can hope that Cahill will actually maintain his level of support and help Patrick survive (whereas Daggett collapsed in New Jersey) is that Cahill is the state Treasurer and is better-known than either Republican candidates.

Wisconsin: Rasmussen’s latest numbers are similar to its previous ones: Republican Scott Walker would dominate Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 49% to 40%, whereas the Democrat would be more competitive if he were to face former Rep. Mark Neumann (44% to 42%). While that’s nothing for Barrett to be ashamed of, the poll also suggests that Barrett is not starting out as the formidable contender Democrats were hoping for. On the other hand, Wisconsin is a state in which we have seen very few non-Rasmussen polls (only a November PPP survey that had Barrett stronger comes to mind), so it would be nice to have more polling firms test this race as well as Feingold’s vulnerability.

Georgia: Former Governor Barnes manages to stay competitive in Rasmussen’s latest poll, but the match-ups are not as favorable than the pollster found last month: Barnes now trails the three most prominent Republican candidates (45-37 against State Insurance Commissioner Oxendine, 43-37 against Rep. Deal, 45-36 against SoS Handel) while tying state Sen. Johnson at 37%. Barnes would have been better-served by a more favorable environment, but he remains in a competitive position.

Rhode Island: Brown University’s poll finds a wide-open race with an early edge for Republican-turned-independent Linc Chaffee. If the Democratic nominee is Frank Caprio, The former Senator leads 34% with 38%, with 12% to the Republican Robitaille; if the Democratic nominee is Patrick Lynch, Chaffee leads by a wider 33% to 18%, with 14% for the Republican.


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While the Reids are in rough shape, Nevada Dems should keep up hope

State Senator Mark Amodei has dropped out of the Nevada Senate race. Despite or because (depending on your take on the cycle) the fact that he is the only candidate who holds elected office, he failed to get much traction; he was unable to overcome his lack of name recognition due to his meager fundraising.

He was hoping he could have a geographical advantage as the only candidate from Northern Nevada, while David Tarkanian and Sue Lowden both come from the Las Vegas region; but Sharron Angle’s entry in the race blew to that prospect. He also had no obvious ideological niche to exploit: While Lowden is a fragile front-runner due to hostility among some conservatives, Amodei couldn’t expect much support from the party’s most motivated faction given that his name was closely associated with a push to raise or create twelve taxes at once - a tough record to defend in a GOP primary.

His withdrawal leaves a crowded field battling it out for the right to face Reid: former party chair Lowden, real estate developer Tarkanian, former Assemblywoman Angle and banker Joe Chachas, and at least 5 other lower-profile candidates.

Three weeks from the filing deadline, I have to admit that I am surprised the Republican field remains as underwhelming as it was in the fall: Sure, Reid is so unpopular that one of these individuals might very well beat him in November, but the NRSC could make this strong opportunity a near-lock if it convinced a politician like Rep. Dean Heller to jump in the Senate race after all - just as happened in Arkansas when Rep. Boozman announced he’d challenge Blanche Lincoln. Yet, it looks like Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki’s decision not to run a few weeks ago was the last recruitment shoe to drop.

In what looks like it could be at least a 9-way race, it should not take a large share of the vote for a Republican to advance to the general election, which means any of the candidates I mentioned above has a shot at the nomination.That includes New York banker John Chachas, who at the moment has no name recognition whatsoever but he is apparently willing to spend a lot of money: As of the end of 2009, he had donated $1,3 million of his own fortune to his campaign. Of course, many unknown businessmen who try to buy themselves Senate seats fail (the latest: Steve Pagliuca) but Lowden and Tarkanian are weak front-runners. In fact, Chachas drew favorable reviews for his latest debate performance, whereas Lowden has failed to impress.

The confusion that is still reigning in the GOP field (and the ensuing prospect that the party will produce a weaker nominee than it should) is not the only factor that should give Harry Reid hope he could still survive. I already mentioned a few weeks ago that a Tea Party had qualified as an official Nevada party and was planning on fielding a candidate in the Senate race. We now have our first look at the effect this would have on the general election, via a Public Opinion Strategies survey that tests a three-way race between Reid, Tea Party candidate Jon Ashjian (who seems to have no public record I can find) and various Republicans - and while Reid’s standing is certainly nothing he should boast about, these have to be the most favorable match-ups he has seen since the summer.

While Reid has routinely trailed by double-digits in polls conducted since August (and this poll makes it clear why, since Reid’s favorability rating is a dismal 35-58) he trails Lowden by a less catastrophic 5% (42-37), with Ashjian at 9%. Against Tarkanian, Reid is only down 40-39, with Ashjian at 11%. Against Angle, Reid actually grabs a 37% to 32% lead, with Ashjian at 16%. The clearest sign that conservative-minded voters are just as willing to vote for a Tea Party than for a GOP nominee when they know about neither candidate comes in the Chachas match-ups, as Ashjian comes out ahead of the banker (22-21) with Reid at 39%.

Of course, it is very possible that Ashjian’s support recedes to the 5%-7% range once a Republican is chosen as the nominee and increases his or her notoriety; but his presence on the ballot certainly looks like it could have a non-marginal effect on the race. The GOP could be in particular trouble if Lowden is the nominee: While Ashjian receives his lowest share of the vote against her, she would probably give him the biggest opening since she inspire mistrust among the hard-right. With Jim DeMint opening the door to supporting third-party bids against the Republican nominees, it seems more likely that Ashjian could hope for such institutional backing if he faces Lowden than Tarkanian or Angle. (While I am more unsure about Chachas’s ideological profile, his background as a New York banker could allow the Tea Party to play a more populist card.)

Dems can also hope for positive developments in non-federal races

The POS poll I cited above also suggests that all is not lost for Democrats over in the Governor’s race: While no one is denying that Governor Jim Gibbons is the clear underdog in his primary fight against former Attorney General Brian Sandoval, the same survey finds him trailing only 38% to 32%, within the margin of error. Voters who have definitely made up their mind favor Sandoval by just 1%, suggesting the Governor is closer to surviving the primary than we might think.

However unpopular incumbents get, they more often than not keep the support of their own party’s base, which is what makes the position of politicians like David Paterson and pre-switch Arlen Specter so shocking. Gibbons is probably too damaged to have a shot at moving to the general election, but his dismal standing among the electorate-at-large (a 29-58 favorability rating) does not mean he is universally despised among Republican voters. Of course, for Gibbons to pull a June upset would be amazing news for Democrats: While Rory Reid trails Brian Sandoval 50% to 34%, he leads the governor 47% to 36%.

The last reason Nevada Democrats should not let Harry Reid’s unpopularity and Rory Reid’s probable presence at the top of their ticket lead them to despair is that they are in a good position to keep the state legislation, which they fully control for the first time in two decades. While Democrats have a 28-14 edge in the state Assembly, their majority in the state Senate is a far narrower 12-9. While you would expect this to mean the GOP would have a good opportunity to take over the upper chamber, only 5 Democratic seats are in play, which gives Republicans little room to maneuver to pick-up the two districts they’ll need.

While Democratic state Senator Joyce Woodhouse appears to be the cycle’s most endangered incumbent, because the district she represents (Henderson) is divided as closely as it gets between the two parties. If Election Night is rough for Democrats, Woodhouse could very well lose, but the GOP’s second best opportunity is an open seat in a district in which Democrats outnumber Republicans 2:1. That the GOP’s rationale for why they think this race is vulnerable is that Democrats’ (June) primary is pitting two Assemblymen against other suggests Republicans can’t expect to regain any power in the legislature before at least 2012.


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Poll watch: GOP dominates IN and IA, has fighting chance in VT and CA

Given how much of this week’s has had us talking about Indiana, it is no surprise that its most noteworthy poll also comes from the Hoosier State: Rasmussen tested the Senate race sans Bayh - and the results are atrocious for Democrats. Reps. Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill would be crushed by whichever Republican they are up against: Dan Coats leads them 46-32 and 48-32, John Hostettler is up 49-31 and 46-27 and even Marlin Stutzman has decisive leads, 41-33 and 40-30. If these numbers are confirmed by other pollsters, Indiana would no doubt move towards North Dakota.

Yet, it is in not certain that other pollsters will find similar results, as we already know that Rasmussen’s number are in flagrant contradiction with Research 2000 released last week. While R2000 did not test other Democrats but Bayh, it did find Coats with a 38/33 favorability rating; Rasmussen has it at 54/27. (I’ll pass on the other weird internal of Rasmussen’s poll: How can a first-term state Senator [Stutzman] have the same name recognition as a congressman?) Given that Research 2000 had found Bayh in a far stronger position when matched-up against Hostettler than Rasmussen had found last month, it’s probably safe to say their numbers would have found Ellsworth and Hill in a far more competitive position than this Rasmussen poll does.

Does this mean we should trash Rasmussen and cherry-pick Research 2000’s survey? Of course not! But we shouldn’t do the inverse either. At the moment, only two polling outlets have tested Indiana’s Senate race and both have released surveys with no glaring problem that paint a very different landscape. (Of course, this has happened in other states, most notably in Colorado where Rasmussen and R2000 have a very different take on Michael Bennet’s electability.) We will need more polling evidence to figure out what to make of all of this, and it’s too early in the cycle to decide what’s an outlier and what’s not.

Senate

Wisconsin: To my knowledge, Rasmussen and PPP are the only pollsters to have recently tested Tommy Thompson’s prospects and their results are so at odds that it is a shame no other firm is releasing a Wisconsin poll. After all, the main reason Rasmussen’s finding that Thompson would start as the front-runner has become conventional wisdom is that they are releasing a survey of the state every few weeks, and indeed a new Rasmussen poll conducted this week finds that Senator Russ Feingold trailing Thompson 48% to 43%. Feingold’s favorability rating is a mediocre 50/48 while Thompson’s is an impressive 63/34, which is the main difference with PPP since that pollster found the former Governor rather unpopular. In any case, Thompson is not running as of now and Feingold leads two low-profile Republicans - albeit by underwhelming margins: 47% t o 37% against Westlake, 47% to 39% against Terrence Wall.

North Carolina: No surprise in PPP’s monthly look at Senator Richard Burr (yet another race that is pretty much tested by only one firm). As always, he has a comfortable lead against his rivals; as always, he is very far from the 50% threshold and his approval rating is mediocre (35/35). Against Elaine Marshall, he leads 43% to 33%; against Cal Cunningham, 44% to 32%; against Kenneth Lewis, 44% to 31%. That said, those numbers are clear improvement over the December and January numbers, since Burr only led Marshall by 5% and 7%. Another bad sign for Democrats: For the first time in January, Marshall performed better than a generic Democrat, a potential sign that her campaign was catching on, but she has once again fallen behind. PPP also tested the Democratic primary, finding Elaine Marshall ahead but certainly not by enough to look like a safe bet: She has 29% versus 12% for Cal Cunningham, 5% for Kenneth Lewis and 2% for new candidate Marcus Williams, who I had not heard of before this poll.

Illinois: Internal polls are only good insofar as the other camp chooses not to release a contradictory survey so it looks like the two parties have fought themselves to a draw in Illinois. Two weeks after Mark Kirk publicized an internal poll finding him leading Alexi Giannoulias, it is now the Democrat’s turn to release a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey that has him up 49% to 45%. Combine that with PPP and Rasmussen’s contrasting results (the former has Giannoulias up 9%, the latter Kirk up 6%), and thi is one race whose polls are all over the map.

Iowa: Democrats have never thought of Iowa as a strong opportunity, but given the number of their incumbents who are struggling to lead unknown Republicans it must be jarring to see Senator Chuck Grassley with 56% to 35% lead in a new KCCI-TV poll. Combine that with Grassley’s strong approval rating, and it certainly doesn’t look like there is anything to see in this Senate race.

Oregon: Rasmussen has released the first poll I am aware of that tests Senator Ron Wyden, and Democrats can be relieved that there isn’t yet another bad surprise. Wyden’s approval rating stands at 55-36, making it hard to see how the GOP can find an opening to defeat him. However, even he fails to crack the 50% threshold when matched-up against his largely unknown opponent, Jim Huffman, though his 49% to 35% lead is nothing for Democrats to get panicked by. Also today, SUSA found Wyden’s approval rating to be a respectable 50/37, which is a better spread than Jeff Merkley’s and Barack Obama’s.

Washington: While two surveys find Wyden with a strong approval rating, Patty Murray might not be holding on as well - at least according to SUSA. The senator’s approval rating has collapsed to 43% to 50%, by far the lowest SUSA has ever found Murray in 5 years of polling. So is this poll an outlier or does it serve as more evidence that the GOP can put Washington in play if it recruits a strong candidate?

Governor

Vermont: While this open race has looked like one of Democrats’ top opportunities of the cycle, Republican Lieutenant Governor would more than hold his own against a series of Democratic candidates according to Research 2000: He trails Secretary of State Deb Markowitz within the margin of error (43-41), leads state Senator Doug Racine 43% to 38% (also barely within the MoE) and has decisive leads ranging from 10% to 18% against lower-profile Democrats (Peter Shumlin, Matt Dunne and Bartlett). A major caveat: No more than 11% of Republican respondents say they are undecided in any of these match-ups, between 25% and 36% of Democrats say the same. When we account for that, Markowitz does start as the front-runner and the other Democrats have a lot of room to grow.

Iowa: Governor Chet Culver trails his chief Republican challenger Terry Branstad 53% to 33% in the latest Des Moines Register poll and 54% to 38% in a new Research 2000 poll conducted for KCCI-TV. Six months ago, those numbers would have been jaw-dropping; now they’ve come to be expected. The former Governor’s entry in the race has made Culver look like one of the surest gubernatorial losers of the year. The one thing that could save him would be for Branstad to be upset in the GOP primary since Culver is far more competitive against 3 other Republicans (in the DMR poll, he trails Vander Plaats by 3% while leading state Rep. Roberts by 5%; in R2000, he leads Vander Plaats by 3% and crushes Roberts by a surprising 22%). While he reaches 48% in Research 2000’s most favorable match-up, he doesn’t break 41% against any rival in the DMR survey. Combined with his dismal approval rating (36-53), this makes it hard to see how he could survive.

California: For a year now, Rasmussen has found tougher results for California Democrats than PPIC and the Field Poll, and its latest round of gubernatorial numbers are no different since Meg Whitman forces a 43%-43% tie against probable Democratic nominee Jerry Brown. Brown does have a wide 46%-34% lead against Steve Poizner, however. What should be comforting to Democrats is that this comes from Whitman’s remarkable popularity (56-28) rather than because Jerry Brown is unpopular (his favorability rating is a decent 53-41) or because the electorate has soured on Democrats (Obama’s approval rating is a solid 57-42). As long as Democrats don’t fall asleep as they did in Massachusetts, their attacks combined with Poizner’s should at least be able to increase Whitman’s negatives.

Interestingly, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval rating is a disastrous 26% to 73% in this Rasmussen poll and 19/80 in a newly-released SUSA poll. Republicans sure are lucky he is term-limited.

Nevada: The latest numbers of this Governor’s race are more encouraging than usual for Democrat Rory Reid, as Brian Sandoval’s lead is not as overwhelming as usual (44% to 35%) but then again it is a survey conducted by a Democratic firm, Grove Insight. The poll also confirms  just how much Democrats stand to benefit if Governor Jim Gibbons somehow manages to survive the GOP primary; weighed down by a catastrophic approval rating (20-75!), Gibbons would be crushed by Reid 49% to 33%. The survey also finds that Rory’s father Harry Reid is in bad shape, however: His approval rating stands at a dismal 34-63.


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An epic polling roundup to get our minds off Massachussetts

Research 2000 and ARG just released two of Massachussetts’s final polls - if not the final polls. ARG found a 7% lead for Brown (52% to 45%), up 4% from where he was just last week. Research 2000, meanwhile, found… a tie: Scott Brown and Martha Coakley receive 48% apiece, a testament to how unpredictable the contest remains heading into Election Day. While at this point any poll that doesn’t have Brown ahead is a relief for Democrats, I don’t have to tell you that even that survey is rough for Coakley: Just last week, Research 2000 found her ahead by 8%, which makes this yet another poll to found stunning momentum for the Republican.

Yet, Research 2000 also confirms the hypothesis I enunciated this morning, as an update to last night’s post: Coakley performs better in polls that include Libertarian nominee Joe Kennedy, who will be on the ballot tomorrow. Pajamas Media and PPP, which gave Brown large leads yesterday, did not include Kennedy at all; surveys that have the race within the margin of error do include Kennedy, who for instance receives 3% in Research 2000. There’s every reason to believe that Kennedy is drawing his voters from the conservative camp, so if the race is close his presence on the ballot could allow Coakley to shave off a few points off Brown compared to PPP’s survey. (ARG’s website appears to be down, so I cannot determine whether they included him.)

It’s hard to think of anything but Massachussetts, but let’s try to do just that: Over the past week, there was so much news to cover that I ignored an avalanche of polls, to which I’ll now get to. Now that we’ve entered 2010, there will be more and more surveys released weekly - even daily - so I will obviously not attempt to cover each one in as much detail as I did over the past year; I will however start with polls that are testing election we’ve seen little data on. Today, those consist in 3 House districts and 2 Western Governor’s races.

(Yes, this is a fairly long post… but I let polls accumulate without covering them for more than a week, so I wanted to get to them all at once to make sure I can focus on Massachussetts and other important news after this!)

Three House races find mixed results for Dems

NC-08: PPP managed to find a freshman Democrat from a swing district with solid standing! In NC-08, a district that swung from Bush to Obama, not only does Rep. Larry Kissell have a strong approval rating (45% to 30%), but he displays no sign of vulnerability in three match-ups against his challengers, leading Lou Huddleston 55% to 37%, Tom D’Annunzio 54% to 38%, Hal Jordan 55% to 39% and Harold Johnson 53% to 39%. Sure, none of these Republicans have much name recognition, but consider all the polls we have seen recently in which incumbent Democrats have struggled to mount any sort of lead against unknown opponents. Yet, not only is Kissell up big but he’s also topping 50%.

ND-AL: The DCCC is relieved Rep. Earl Pomeroy decided to seek re-election, but it doesn’t mean he is a shoo-in to win another term. A new poll by Research 2000 finds him solidly ahead of all of his competitors Kevin Cramer and Duane Sand, but he fails to clear 50% against either. (He’s ahead 46-24 and 47-22, respectively.) This is all the more problematic when you consider that Republicans are 5 times more likely to be undecided than Democrats, so the GOP candidates have a lot of room to grow once they introduce themselves, and the NRCC especially has hope in Cramer (North Dakota Public Service Commissioner). In short: Pomeroy has a good standing and he is clearly favored to win re-election, but he is not safe.

OH-01: If Kissell and Pomeroy look strong, Rep. Steve Driehaus is sinking according to a SUSA poll commissioned by FiredogLake. We already knew that this freshman Democrat was one of the most endangered of the cycle (he is facing a rematch against the Republican he ousted in 2008, and OH-01 is a district with a substantial African-American population, so a drop in black turnout compared to the past cycle would be particularly hurtful to his chances), but SUSA’s numbers are uglier than even optimistic Republicans surely expected: Driehaus trails 39% to 56% for former Rep. Steve Chabot. I don’t need to tell you the odds that an incumbent who trails by 17% might win re-election. (Coincidentally, this is the same exact margin SUSA found against Rep. Vic Snyder on Friday.)

An unexpected Dem opportunity in UT, door is closing in OK

Utah: Democrats were excited at Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Coroon’s decision to challenge Governor Herbert, and a Deseret News poll confirms that Coroon could make the race well-worth watching: Herbert leads 48% to 35%, down from his 56-32 lead back in November. There’s no question that Herbert is heavily favored, but Coroon does represent one third of the state’s population in a capacity that ensures he is a visible presence. At the very least, Coroon’s presence on the ballot could help Democrats ensure that Rep. Jim Matheson isn’t a victim of any potential red wave.

Oklahoma: Whatever Oklahoma’s staunchly conservative status, Democrats had enough of a bench they were expecting to mount a highly competitive bid to defend the state’s governorship. (Governor Henry is term-limited.) Yet, a Tulsa News poll finds that Lieut. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmonson are no match for Rep. Mary Fallin; despite their strong favorability rating (Edmonson’s stands at 51-31), they trail the Republican 52% to 36% and 51% to 39%, respectively. A former Lieutenant Governor, Fallin is well-known and popular (54% to 29%). Democrats shouldn’t entirely give up, but the race most certainly leans Republican.

Connecticut and North Dakota won’t be competitive

From the moment Senators Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd retired two weeks ago, we have known that the races to replace them are unlikely to be competitive. Three new poll confirm that John Hoeven and Richard Blumenthal are very heavily favored to be sworn into the Senate come January 2011.

North Dakota: Richard 2000 finds Hoeven leading 56% to 32% against Ed Schulz, 55% to 34% against former AG Heidi Heitkamp and 56% to 32% against Jasper Schneider. Sure, Hoeven’s lead doesn’t quite reach “overwhelming” status, but looking at the internals it’s hard to see a path to victory for whoever Democrats nominate: There are few undecideds, including among Democratic voters; Hoeven enjoys near unanimous support among Republicans; and he has daunting leads among independents.

Connecticut: We’ve already seen a few surveys displaying Blumenthal’s dominance, but over the past 5 days Quinnipiac and Research 2000 both released surveys confirming it. In Research 2000, Blumenthal leads Rob Simmons 54% to 35%, Linda McMahon 56% to 34% and Peter Schiff 56% to 33%. In Quinnipiac, whose brutal numbers for Dodd were as responsible for driving the narrative of his doom than those of any other pollster, his leads are gigantic: 62% to 27% against Simmons, 64% to 23% against McMahon, 66% to 19% against Schiff. Everything can happen if Democrats aren’t careful (see neighboring Massachussetts), but Blumenthal isn’t Martha Coakley.

CO, NH, NV, OH: 4 key Senate races, 7 rough polls for Senate Democrats.

Ohio: Democrats led this open race for much of 2009, but Rasmussen’s new poll is its second in a row to find Rob Portman has grabbed the edge. He leads Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher 44% to 37% and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner 43% to 40%. These numbers are very interesting because the Democratic establishment holds Fisher to be a stronger candidate; yet, Portman increased his lead against Fisher whilelosing ground against Brunner! Overall, then, the two parties are roughly where they were in early December.

Colorado: This week, we received three surveys testing Colorado, which until this week an underpolled state:

  • Rasmussen has by far the worst set of results for Democrats: Senator Michael Bennet trails former Lieut. Gov. 49% to 37%, and he’s also behind lower-profile Tom Wiens (44% to 38%) and Ken Buck (43% to 38%). Former Speaker Andrew Romanoff trails Norton and Wiens by the same margin but is only behind Buck by 1%.
  • In response to these ugly numbers, Bennet released an internal poll, which might have found better results but he is still behind Jane Norton, 43% to 40%.
  • Finally, just this afternoon Research 2000 released the best news Bennet has received in quite some time: Bennet leads Norton 40% to 39%, Buck 41% to 38% and Wiens 42% to 38%; Romanoff trails Norton by 2% but leads Buck and Wiens by 1% and 2%.

There is quite a lot of disparity between these three surveys, and Bennet’s camp will be delighted that he finally manages a lead in a poll - even if it’s well within the MoE. That said, it is clear from all of these surveys that Bennet is stuck at 40% - a dismal place for an incumbent to be, even an appointed one. Colorado remains a major problem for Democrats.

New Hampshire: Another tough Rasmussen poll, since it shows that what once looked like a Democratic-leaning open seat might now be leaning Republican: Attorney General Kelly Ayotte leads Rep. Paul Hodes 49% to 40%. (This is roughly the same margin Rasmussen found in September.) Hodes does led lower-profile Republicans Ovide Lamontagne and Bill Binnie 45% to 38% and 43% to 37%, respectively. This is

Nevada: With everyone now aware that Harry Reid is one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable senators, there’s been speculation that the party might try to convince him to pull a Chris Dodd, as in retire for the good of the party. But a new poll released last week revealed that Democrats don’t have a Blumenthal-like savior:

  • PPP found Harry Reid trailing Sue Lowden 51% to 41% and Danny Tarkanian 50% to 42% - very ugly margins for a longtime senator against second-tier challengers. Yet, the Republicans enjoy similar margins against other Democrats! Rep. Shelly Berkley trails by 8% against both; Rose Miller trails by 10% and 11%, respectively. Only Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman manages to stay on an equal footing: he ties Tarkanian at 41%, leads Lowden 42% to 40%.
  • If PPP’s numbers were ugly, how can we describe Rasmussen’s? Here, Reid is crushed Lowden 48% to 36% and Tarkanian 50% to 36%! He manages to stay close to former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, but even here he’s stuck at 40%, trailing 44% to 40%.

If polls showing other Democrats doing better than Reid started piling up, the party could hope to convince him to retire; but PPP’s survey cuts that hope short (Research 2000 will also soon release a similar poll), which allows Republicans to feel increasingly confident about picking-up Nevada.

OH, NV and MA: 3 key Governor’s races, three tough polls for Dems

Ohio: If Ted Strickland started 2009 as the clear favorite, he starts 2010 trailing former Rep. John Kasich. Rasmussen finds him trailing 47% to 40%, which is actually a 2% improvement over December’s numbers. Other surveys have found a closer race, but there’s no question that Strickland is in for a very tough battle.

Nevada: Rory Reid is in as much trouble as his father, only the position they’re vying for is different. Sure, Reid manages to lead incumbent Governor Jim Gibbons 43% to 36% in Mason Dixon’s poll, but considering that Gibbons is even more unpopular (his favorability rating is 18% to 53%) than David Paterson that doesn’t mean much; the favorite to win the Republican nomination, Brian Sandoval, crushes Reid 53% to 31%! In a three-way race involving Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who is considering running as an independent, Sandoval and Goodman are close (35% to 33% for the former), with 20% for Reid. There’s no mystery as to why: Reid’s favorability rating is 25% to 35%, Goodman’s 43-15 and Sandoval’s 36-5. Hard to explain Reid’s numbers by anything but his last name.

Massachussetts: Two new polls confirm that Martha Coakley isn’t the only struggling Massachussetts Democrat:

  • PPP shows that Governor Deval Patrick has a dismal approval rating of just 22%. In three-way races involving Treasurer Tom Cahill (as an independent) and one of his 2 Republican opponents, Patrick is ahead but he receives less than 30% (!) and leads whoever is in second place by just 2% or 3%. In both match-ups, the 3 candidates are within 8%.
  • The Boston Globe poll is more favorable to Patrick: His favorability rating is a bad but not horrendous 39/50 and his leads over Cahill are a bit larger. If the GOP nominee is Charlie Baker, Patrick receives 30, Cahill 23% and Baker 19%; if the GOP nominee is Mihos, the numbers are 32, 23 and 19 for Mihos.

Much will depend on how Cahill positions his campaign. A former Democrat, he has been inching closer to the right since announcing he would run as an independent, for instance asking a conservative Republican state legislator to join his ticket.

Democrats’ silver lining is definitely Connecticut

Not only did Chris Dodd’s retirement all but guarantee Democrats will save Connecticut’s Senate seat, but Research 2000 shows they can look forward to in the Governor’s race - and also the 2012 Senate contest. Susan Bysiewicz, who just dropped out of the race last week, was in a very strong position: she led Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele 52% to 33%, Tom Foley 51% to 35% and Mark Boughton 52% to 32%. But the Democrats left in the race look solid as well: Ned Lamont leads 46-36, 46-37 and 46-34 while Dan Malloney is up 44-35, 43-37 and 44-34, respectively.

Research 2000 also tested the 2012 Senate race. In a two-way general election match-up between Joe Lieberman and Chris Murphy, the representative leads the independent senator 45% to 26% - it’s quite stunning to see such a longtime senator fail to receive more than a quarter of the vote. Not only does Murphy crush Lieberman among Democrats (71% to 20%), but also among independents (41% to 22%). Democrats might fear a lot of losses in 2010, but at least Lieberman looks to have too low support to have much hope to win re-election in 2012.


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Harry and Rory transform Nevada into land mine for Democrats

For Democrats, Nevada is threatening to be as much of a nightmare in 2010 as it was close to perfection in 2008 - and month by month, it is looking increasingly likely that Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer will have a shot at becoming Senate Majority Leader come January 2011.

The latest Mason Dixon poll of the Senate race finds that Harry Reid’s numbers are as low as ever. A favorability rating of 38/49 (his approval rating is probably lower) is bound to put any senator in trouble; and in case there are any doubts left that Nevadans are committed to getting rid of their senator, they should be dissipated by the fact that he is trailing 51% to 41% against Sue Lowden and 48% to 42% against Danny Tarkanian.

If it’s a sign of weakness for an incumbent to be under 50%, we reach a whole other level of vulnerability when the challenger clears that threshold - especially when we’re talking about a little-known candidate. (Note that a surprisingly large share of the electorate says they recognize Tarkanian and Lowden’s names, which suggests they are not that low-profile. Yet, many of these respondents also say they do not have a clear opinion of these candidates, which does mean they have room to grow.)

Perhaps most worrisome for Reid is that this poll was conducted after he launched ad campaigns meant to improve his image: That certainly doesn’t look like it has helped, which only confirms how hard it is for well-known incumbents to change voters’ perception. Sure, Reid’s large cash-on-hand will help him attack his challengers, thus blunting their ability to introduce themselves to voters in a positive light. Yet, he is tied up by the fact that he won’t know who is opponent will be until early June: The GOP nomination could be won by any number of candidates, and it wouldn’t be a good idea for Reid to launch preemptive attacks against even just two or three of them.

Reid will have to wait for the primary to be resolved, and hope not only that the candidates have emptied each other’s bank account but also that Republicans have chosen a nominee who’s weak enough to have trouble in the general election. Facing former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle is probably Reid’s best bet. (This is a case where Democrats should be careful what they wish for, though. There isn’t in the conservative Angle’s profile to make her unelectable against as unpopular a senator as Reid.) In testing the GOP primary, Mason Dixon found Angle receiving 13%, not far behind Lowden (25%) and Tarkanian (24%); unfortunately, she was not tested in the general election.

The Reid family’s prospects are looking just as damaged in the Governor’s race: Not that Rory Reid stands at depths of unpopularity, but given that he is an elected official at the county level the fact that he has a favorability rating of 23-28 can only be due to the trickle-down effect of his father’s vulnerability.

Rory is taking the time to insist that Harry’s standing won’t impact his campaign, but it’s hard to see how the fact that the state’s Democratic ticket could be led by two members of the same family might possibly not have major consequences on the results.

Rory’s numbers are all the more worrisome for Democratic chances compared to those of Republican frontrunner Brian Sandoval, whose favorability rating stands at 39-6. In that context, Sandoval unsurprisingly vaults to a 49% to 34% lead over Reid. He not only leads by 17% among independents, but he also receives 21% of the Democratic vote; he even leads in Clark County.

Sure, Reid does manage a 48% to 34% lead over Governor Jim Gibbons, who stands no chance of winning in the general election (no incumbent with a 19% favorability rating and a 50% unfavorability rating can hope to even be competitive); the problem for Democrats is that Gibbons will not make it that far. In the GOP primary, he trails Sandoval 39% to 18%; sure, that’s far smaller than the deficit David Paterson faces against Andrew Cuomo but it’s truly an atrocious level of support for an incumbent to receive from his base.

Interestingly, Mason Dixon chose to once again not test what would happen if Oscar Goodman ran as a Democrat (a possibility he has not ruled out), but they do test three-way races that include the Las Vegas Mayor as an independent. Whoever his opponents, Goodman leads - easily if his GOP opponent is Gibbons (Goodman receives 38%, with 25% for Reid and Gibbons), narrowly if his GOP opponent if Reid (he receives 35%, with 32% for Sandoval and 24% for Reid). It’s telling of Reid’s weak standing that he gets as much support as Gibbons in the first configuration; in the second, he only receives 16% among independents.

The GOP is lucky that Harry Reid’s unpopularity and Sandoval’s popularity are so pronounced, because the scandals surrounding their own incumbents could have otherwise dominated the state’s political environment and sank the party’s chances otherwise. I already mentioned just how unpopular Gibbons is, and the interview the governor’s former wife just gave to the Reno Gazette certainly won’t help him turn the page.

As significantly, Senator John Ensign’s troubles over his affair and the financial transactions that surrounded it continue to mount since the Senate Ethics Committee is now stepping up its investigations and issuing subpoenas. With Doug Hampton continually upping the stakes in his statements to the press, it will be interesting to see what he tells the committee if he testifies under oath. Yet, Ensign has found an effective counter-argument that should dissuade Republicans from ever calling for his resignation: point out that a special election to fill his seat could distract from the party’s efforts to unseat the Senate Majority Leader. “For the people who want to beat Harry Reid if you have a second Senate race in this state, that takes the attention off of Senator Reid,” he said this week.


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Nevada does not like its incumbents

Mason Dixon’s August poll was the first shot clear sign that Harry Reid was in huge trouble next year. Since then, other pollsters’ confirmed that the Senate Majority Leader is unable to stay in contact with low-profile opponents like former state party chair Sue Lowden and real estate developer Danny Tarkanian, which makes Mason Dixon’s new poll unsurprising - but no less worrisome for Democrats.

Plagued by a 38% to 51% favorability rating, Reid trails Tarkanian 48% to 43% and Lowden 49% to 39%. That’s an improvement against Tarkanian (he trailed by 11% in August) but a downward trend against Lowden (he trailed by 5% in August). In the GOP primary, Lowden and Tarkanian are in a statistical dead heat - 23% to 21% - with former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle coming in at 9%.

A 5% deficit can certainly be overcome but keep in mind the name recognition differentials at play here. as they bode ill for the Senate Majority Leader. However, one figure I think is somewhat reassuring for Reid is the 43% he receives against Tarkanian: While nothing to celebrate, that suggests a substantial share of Nevadans are willing to support him.

That’s more than we can say about other Governor Jim Gibbons.

Indeed, Reid can rejoice: He is not in as much trouble as Gibbons. The main question regarding the governor is whether he loses in the Republican primary or in the general election, but even that is hardly suspenseful at the moment: former Attorney General Brian Sandoval has already made it clear he is running, making it it more than likely GOP voters dump their incumbent.

These are the lessons of the Mason Dixon poll, which finds Gibbons’s approval rating at a catastrophic 14%. For those of you keeping track, that makes him the most unpopular governor in the country, hardly surprising giving his constant presence on the first page of tabloids, his financial scandals and Nevada’s fiscal problems. Gibbons handily loses all his match-ups:

  • He trails 41% to 20% against Sandoval in the GOP primary.
  • In the general election, Gibbons loses 47% to 37% against Rory Reid; if Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman runs as an independent, Gibbons comes in third, with Goodman at 36%, Reid at 27% and Gibbons at 24%.
  • If Sandoval is the Republican nominee, he crushes Reid 50% to 32%; in a 3-way race, he ties Goodman at 33% with Reid at 25%.

Given Gibbons’s approval rating, we might have expected him to face larger deficits in the general election, which gets us to what is the GOP’s best hope of retaining this governorship: Rory Reid is likely to emerge as the Democratic nominee ever since Speaker Barbara Buckley passed on a run. Whatever Reid’s assets, the unpopularity of his father dramatically lowers his electability; that is reflected in the drubbing he receives against Sandoval.

There is still a long time to go, but the ease with which Sandoval dispatches both Gibbons and Reid make him the early front-runner to win the governorship. Of course, the biggest wild card in the race is the possibility that Goodman jumps in the race, as he would have an excellent chance of reaching the Governor’s mansion - not to mention breath new life into everyone’s candidacy.

Note that Goodman is a registered Democrat. He has expressed clear preference for running as an independent (”I think it’s a wonderful thing when you don’t have to get involved in party politics”) but I don’t believe he has ruled out seeking the Democratic nomination. As such, I wish Mason Dixon had also polled match-ups with Goodman as the Democrats’ nominee. That would have given us useful information not only about just how formidable a candidate Goodman would be but also how much Reid underperforms compared to the state’s Democratic potential.

Another potential wild card in this race was taken care of last week: former state Senator Joe Heck, who was running for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination since the spring, announced he was dropping out of the race to challenge freshman Rep. Dina Titus in NV-03.

The GOP’s best chance at keeping the governorship is to dump Gibbons in the primary so Heck’s move is good news for the RGA: Gibbons’s main hope of clinching the GOP nomination would be to face such a crowded face that the anti-incumbent vote is divided. Sandoval could not have been sure of emerging as the undisputed Gibbons opponent had Heck stayed in the race because of areas of tension between Sandoval and the conservative base, most notably the former AG’s support for the state’s domestic partnership law.

Now, however, North Las Vegas Mayor Michael Montandon is still in the race but Heck’s exit does leave Sandoval as Gibbons’s main alternative. The main obstacle in Sandoval’s route is Rep. Dean Heller, who ruled out running for Senate but has not done the same about the gubernatorial race. Yet, it does not look likely that Heller will leave his relatively safe House job for this chaotic a statewide run.

Heck’s entry in the gubernatorial race is also good news for the GOP at the House level - but I’ll keep that for a post to come up later. For now, let’s move to the last incumbent we have left in the Mason Dixon poll: John Ensign, who is contributing to weighing down the Republican brand: His favorability rating (23/43) is far worse than Reid’s - yet better than Gibbons’s, which tells us a lot about the governor’s vulnerability.

Gibbons and Ensign’s unpopularity will make it harder for the GOP to enjoy the dividends of a favorable national environment and a red wave will have a harder time submerging the Silver State. That makes Titus - more so than Reid, who is plagued by the hostility that voters are feeling towards their state’s most established politicians - harder for the GOP to defeat.


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In Nevada, Brian Sandoval is formidable candidate with some obvious weaknesses

Brian Sandoval is only 46 years old, but he has already served four years in the state legislature, three years in the Nevada Gaming Commission, three years as Attorney General and four years as a federal district judge. Last month, he resigned from his lifetime appointment to the judicial bench and this week announced he would run for Governor in 2010.

Sandoval’s entry is welcome news for Republicans, who are afraid of being stuck with unelectable incumbent Jim Gibbons. Nevada is the GOP’s version of New York: An unpopular governor will head towards an all but certain general election disaster if a popular Attorney General (or former AG) does not snatch the nomination first. Other Republicans are also running against Gibbons - former State Sen. Joe Heck and North Las Vegas Mayor Michael Montandon - but Sandoval’s profile makes him the favorite.

Given the diversity of his experience and the ease with which he won his one and only statewide race - in the 2002 open race for AG that Democrats were defending, he prevailed 58% to 33% - he will also be a formidable contender in the general election. Add to that the fact that his last name’s opponent is likely to be Reid due to an unexpected drop-out in the Democratic field and that Sandoval’s Hispanic background could allow him to appeal to a group that has been trending leftward in recent years, and that might be enough to annoint him the front-runner to win the entire election.

That said, Sandoval comes to the race with some obvious weaknesses. The first is his seeming ability to stay put more than a few years. He left his AG job before completing his first term, or even his third year. Sure, that was to take a plum lifetime appointment to the federal bench, but he was unable to get himself to stay in that position for a full four years - the amount of time he’ll have to stay put just to finish a single gubernatorial term. His opponents are sure to make a big deal of Sandoval’s bizarre history, questioning whether he can be trusted to stick around the Governor’s Mansion and to stay interested in his job. Montandon already launched this attack line in a fundraising letter:

Brian Sandoval quit mid-term in the Nevada Assembly. Brian Sandoval quit in the middle of his term as attorney general, virtually handing the office to a liberal Democrat in the next election. And now, Brian Sandoval says he will quit his job as a federal judge and give (President) Barack Obama the opportunity to appoint another liberal judge to the federal bench. Since when is quitting a qualification for governor?

Second, Sandoval might have some problems appealing to conservatives in the Republican primary. For one, it is none other than Harry Reid who recommended that President Bush appoint him to the federal bench in 2005. Second, Sandoval is taking some moderate positions on issues on which the GOP base does not tend to be forgiving. He just declared he supported the state’s newly instituted domestic partnerships “because it’s the right thing to do;” in the spring, Gibbons had vetoed the bill. This should be a major fault line between the two Republicans.

Third, Democrats should be able to use Sandoval’s connections to unpopular Republicans. A year before Bush appointed him to a lifetime post on the federal bench, Sandoval served as the chairman of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in Nevada. I can see the Democratic ads writing themselves, attacking Sandoval for benefiting from patronage and a politically motivated judicial appointment. Furthermore, the entire brand of the Nevada GOP is damaged by scandals engulfing Gibbons and John Ensign; Sandoval is running against the former, but can he distance himself from Republicans in general, Ensign in particular? The RGJ reports the two discussed Sandoval running for Governor, and some have questioned whether he engaged in political activities from the bench.

One last consequence of Sandoval’s entrance: It makes it far more unlikely that Rep. Dean Heller will take the risk of leaving his House seat to run for Governor. That’s a shame for Democrats, who would have had a chance to contest his district as an open seat - though NV-02 is red enough that the GOP would have been favored to hold on to it. At this point, Democrats should hope they can make the district bluer in the next round of redistricting and then have a shot at an open seat if Heller challenges Ensign in 2012.

Democrats get a strong gubernatorial candidate of their own, in SC

Democrats got a strong candidate of their own in a gubernatorial election this week: State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex announced he would run in South Carolina’s increasingly chaotic open race. SC is conservative enough that the GOP will have the upper-hand no matter who Democrats nominate. Yet, recent events - Mark Sanford’s refusal to take stimulus funds, his affair and other scandals, Joe Wilson’s outburst - are giving Democrats hope they can ride voter discontent. As the state’s only Democratic statewide official, Rex can lay a claim at having the best shot at doing so.

It’s not like Rex has a long history in statewide politics, nor that he is well entrenched: He was first elected in 2006 in what was the tightest statewide race in state history (455 votes). Before that, he served as the dean of education or the president of various universities. That experience might serve him great in most election cycles as voters often want their politicians to have meaningful things to say on education matters, but 2010 is likely to be all about the economy; Rex seems to be aware of that, as he highlighted economic issues in his campaign kick-off and called himself the “Turnaround Governor.”

He’ll have to face a competitive Democratic primary - two state Senators are also running - before he can even think of the general election. This contest’s biggest question mark continues to be what will happen with Sanford. Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer had promised that he would not run in 2010 if Sanford resigned and he became the incumbent, but he is now saying that his offer is only effective until next month. Given that few people took him seriously in the first place, it remains to be seen how this will impact impeachment talks that continue to swirl in Columbia.


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In Southwest, two surprising gubernatorial developments

With most of the week’s electoral attention focused on Massachusetts’ Senate race - the short version: Rep. Ed Markey and former Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card are not running - it’s easy to miss two surprising developments that could shake up gubernatorial elections in the Southwest.

NV: Buckley exits race, boosting (Rory) Reid’s primary prospects

Jim Gibbons is arguably the country’s most unpopular governor, which makes Nevada’s Democratic nomination particularly valuable. All eyes were on Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, who has served in the legislature since 1994 and is the first woman to hold the Speaker position: Not only was she expected to run, but a recent Mason-Dixon poll showed that she would be heavily favored to win the Democratic nomination.

Yet, Buckley announced yesterday that she would not run for Governor. She cited the impact a campaign would have on her family, particularly on her 10-year old son. While she opened the door to a future political run, it’s hard not to think that it will be hard for her to find as good a time as 2010: Not only is the GOP brand more tarnished in Nevada than in most other states, but Buckley is term-limited out of the legislature next year. There is speculation she might be appointed to a judgeship, however.

Buckley’s exit shakes up the race. The two other contenders who are most often mentioned are Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid, the son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Goodman could be a formidable contender, but he is also considering running as an independent, which means that all-but-certain candidate Reid should now be considered the front-runner to win the Democratic nod. That could be troublesome for Democrats.

While any Democrat would be favored to win if they faced Gibbons, the governor is not likely to make it to the November ballot; the Democratic nominee will have to prepare for a highly competitive general election against the likes of Brian Sandoval or Joe Heck. Whatever Rory Reid’s campaign skills and electoral strength, the bottom line is that he is bound to be weighed down by his last name.

If he wins the nomination, father and son would both appear on next year’s general election ballot. The state’s 2010 Democratic ticket would become the Reid ticket. Such a blatant display of dynastic politics would create an uncomfortable situation for any candidate, but it should be particularly damaging to Rory considering Harry’s unpopularity. (It could also undermine the senator’s reelection prospects, though that’s less likely to be a factor since voters have a more defined opinion of him.)

AZ: Symington III hints at return

In September 1997, Arizona’s Republican Governor J. Fife Symington III was forced to resign after being convicted of bank fraud in a massive trial that shook up state politics. Within two years, his conviction had been overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals because the trial judge had dismissed a juror who was leaning toward acquittal and he was pardoned by President Bill Clinton, who he saved from drowning during their college days.

Symington might now have a clean criminal record, but that does not make him the most obvious of Republican candidates in the upcoming gubernatorial race. Yet, Symington floated his name this week, when he told The Arizona Republic that he is “thinking seriously” about the race.

If he were to run, Symington would have to challenge an incumbent Governor: Jan Brewer replaced Janet Napolitano when Obama tapped the latter for his Cabinet. Brewer has won a statewide race on her own name before; that’s not something we can say of all Lieutenant Governors who suddenly become Governor (say, David Paterson) and certainly not of Senators who are suddenly appointed to vacant seats (say, Michael Bennet). Yet, weighed won by a weak approval rating and a grumbling GOP base, she is sure to face a competitive primary: Treasurer Dean Martin, former state Sen. Karen Johnson, Paradise Valley mayor Vernon Parker, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas are all mulling the race; Rep. Jeffrey Flake could also run.

Symington’s entry would undoubtedly spice things up. Beyond adding a well-known name to the mix, it would inject in the race one of the 1990s most prominent political scandals. Could he ride his name recognition - and potentially the GOP base’s anger at his prosecution - to win the Republican nomination? How would that translate to the general election, where independent voters should be less forgiving of his involvement in an extortion and bank fraud scandal? Given the many options Republicans have, it’s hard to see how they don’t hurt their prospects if they nominate Symington.

Interestingly, the probable Democratic nominee is Symington’s first gubernatorial opponent. In 1990, former Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard narrowly lost the general election to Symington in a 52% to 48% runoff; four years later, he sought a rematch but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Having since been elected Attorney General, Goddard is preparing for a third gubernatorial run - one in which he could face Symington once more, twenty years after their first encounter.


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After week of GOP-friendly surveys, here are two polls that should please Democrats

Republicans have had a lot of electoral polls to celebrate this week - whether confirmation that Charlie Crist is favored to win Florida’s Senate race, PPP’s finding that the GOP has the upper-hand in Oklahoma, Harry Reid’s unpopularity, McDonnell’s Virginia strength and Christie’s continued lead in New Jersey. Well, two other polls that fell by the wayside this week have better news for Democrats.

It’s never to early to test 2012

Those political junkies who already need to know how things are shaking up in the next presidential race can thank PPP for offering regular national surveys. Their latest installment shows that Barack Obama is in a solid position.

For one, his approval rating remains strong: 55% approve of his performance, versus 38%. What I find most interesting is that Obama does not have that much lower to go among Republicans, only 19% of whom approve of his performance. Compare this to the situation Bush was in during his first term: A Marist poll taken in February 2o03 found him posting a similar approval rating overall (56-34) but in that survey 31% of Democrats approved of his performance.

Unlike what Marist’s 2003 poll found, those who are most likely to oppose Obama have already turned against him and his popularity could prove more stable than some expect.

Obama also leads all four Republicans who were tested by double-digits. For the second consecutive month, Mike Huckabee comes closest to Obama, but he still trails 52% to 39%; next is Newt Gingrich, 53% to 36%; Mitt Romney trails 53% to 35% while Sarah Palin faces the largest deficit, 56% to 37%.

It is a testament to Palin’s polarizing nature that she gets a higher percentage than Gingrich or Romney but nonetheless trails Obama by a larger margin. Fewer voters are undecided in the match-up involving the Alaska Governor, just as fewer respondents say they are not sure what they think about her (9%, versus 23%-24% for Gingrich, Palin and Romney) - and that is not to her benefit.

What is especially fascinating is that there seems to be a significant share of Republicans voters who seem repelled by Palin: Against Huckabee and Gingrich, Obama receives 15% and 16% of the GOP vote, respectively; against Palin, he receives a whooping 27%! In other words, there are Republicans who do not approve of Obama’s performance but who dislike the Alaska Governor so much that they are ready to back the President instead of voting for her.

The news does not improve for the GOP contenders once we consider their favorability ratings. Only Huckabee can say he is popular (44% to 32%) while Romney can at least point to a net positive (40% to 36%); but Palin remains unpopular (42% to 50%) while Gingrich is downright unelectable. His rating (30% to 47%) is truly dismal, made all the worst by his pathetic result among independents (27% to 53%); that’s Bush territory.

Sure, it is debatable whether these four Republicans would be the strongest competitors against Obama in the first place - two are very unpopular among independents, another failed to capture voters’ imagination in 2008 - but they are the only ones who can be tested for meaningful results because they are the only ones who have national name recognition: Tim Pawlenty’s fans can argue that he would be a more electable contender but voters nationwide do not know him enough (for now) for a match-up with Obama to bring valuable information.

Nevada: Gibbons is heading out of the door

Few incumbents become so unpopular that their re-election becomes inconceivable. One one who has reached such status is New York’s David Paterson - as has been evidenced by countless polls over the past few months. Another is Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, whose dreadful political situation I evoked here.

Gibbons has not yet announced whether he would seek a second term in 2010, but this Mason Dixon poll suggests he would face an uphill battle, to say the least: Only 17% of voters approve of his performance, versus 52% who disapprove. (If Gingrich is in Bush territory, Gibbons is in Cheney’s.) Only 10% say they would vote to re-elect Gibbons, while a stunning 54% say they will “definitely vote to replace” him and 30% say they would consider an alternative.

As a matter of comparison, Harry Reid’s numbers in this same poll also look worrisome (as I wrote about two days ago) but they look solid compared to Gibbons 35% of Nevadans said they will definitely vote to re-elect him and 45% say they want to replace him.

If that is not enough to demonstrate the extent of Gibbons’s vulnerability, consider that Reid has no declared opponent - and no credible challenger is waiting in the wings - while the Governor is sure to face top-tier opposition from both parties: former state Senator Joe Hek is already challenging him in the Republican party while a number of top Democrats, for instance House Speaker Barbara Buckley and Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid, are reportedly looking at the race.


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With 2010 around the corner, Governors are in precarious situation

A year has passed since Eliot Spitzer’s sudden downfall, and the former Governor’s rehabilitation efforts are getting more successful: The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel just called for Spitzer’s appointment to the Treasury Department! Meanwhile, Spitzer is writing columns for Slate - and one of his recent pieces explains why the country’s Governors are facing a very difficult situation:

The numbers from the states are downright horrifying—and getting worse. The best estimate is that states, nearly all of which are constitutionally obligated to balance their budgets, collectively face deficits of about $350 billion over the next 30 months. That is about 20 percent of total state spending. … The three major revenue streams for states—personal income tax, corporate income tax, and sales tax—all had declines, and the trend line suggests worse declines to come.

With about 50 percent of all spending dedicated to these almost inviolate purposes, and another 20 percent or so allocated to debt service, corrections, transportation, and public assistance, it begins to become evident that finding cuts of 10 percent is easier to editorialize about than to effectuate… As the elected officials charged with paying for essential services using revenue sources that are directly correlated to economic cycles, governors have no easy remedies, and not even many hard ones.

Spitzer’s point might not be terribly original, but it is the opportunity to delve into an issue that has become increasingly apparent over the past few months. Poll after poll show that Governors across the country and from both parties are seeing their approval ratings decline. Budgetary discussions are proving arduous in most states, putting Governors in tough spots as they try to navigate often hostile state legislatures and requirements that budgets be balanced. In many states, Governors are cutting funds for critical programs, freezing wages, laying off workers; that many are reluctant to increase taxes on upper-incomes is further complicating the situation.

Heading into the 2010 cycle, this could spell disaster for incumbent Governors who are up for re-election; even those who are able to keep decent approval rating could see their numbers fall as the crisis deepens over the next year.

The one thing that could mitigate the consequences of this situation is that 17 Governors are barred from seeking re-election in 2010 due to term-limit laws, leaving their seat open and allowing their party to run encumbered by the weight of incumbency. On the other hand, non-incumbent candidates could very well be dragged down at the polls because they belong to the same party as the state’s Governor. In particular, this is a problem for Michigan Lieutenant Governor John Cherry, who could very well find himself blamed for the state’s severe economic crisis.

California’s Republican nominee could face a similar situation. Earlier this year, the Golden State was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the state has taken dramatic measures like forcing 200,000 employees to take one day of unpaid leave every month. The gridlock over the state’s budget revealed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s weakness, as he didn’t even any authority on members of his own party. A recent Field poll showed that 52% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Schwarzenegger and that Democrats and Republicans have turned against him. Not only do such numbers hurt whoever the GOP nominates to replace him, but they are also a fatal blow to Schwarzenegger’s hopes of challenging Senator Barbara Boxer.

As for those Governors who are expected to run for re-election in 2009 and 2010, those most affected by the situation are most obviously New York’s David Paterson and New Jersey’s Jon Corzine, both of whom have had to deal with difficult budgetary discussions.

In New York, Paterson’s poll numbers are catastrophic. A recent survey found his approval rating down to 29%, with most dissatisfied respondents citing reasons related to the state’s fiscal woes. He is angering Democrats by refusing to raise taxes on the rich; he has reversed himself on a slate of hikes he had proposed as a replacement; and he is attracting criticism for conducting budget negotiations in complete secrecy. Perhaps most damaging, Paterson has come to be viewed as ineffective and disorganized - a reputation tabloid covers promote and that a new report on his days in the state legislature will only worsen. Meanwhile, potential primary rival Andrew Cuomo has managed to get a political boost from the financial mess by putting himself on the front lines of the fight against the AIG bonuses.

In New Jersey, Corzine’s situation is arguably in an even deeper hole than Paterson as he has to face voters this November, leaving him little time to recover. (Two recent polls found him with an approval rating of 33% and 40% and trailing Republican candidate Chris Christie by 15% and 9%.) Perhaps more damaging than his decision to raise the income tax (however much newspapers complain, how much of a backlash could Corzine suffer for increasing the rate of those who make more than $500,000?) are the wage freeze on state workers, the 9% cut from last year’s budget and the fact that Corzine is reversing himself. That makes him look like he has no firm idea of how to resolve the crisis; while that might very well be true, it’s never good to show it.

As for Nevada’s Jim Gibbons, his approval ratings were already disastrous before the economic crisis worsened, but whatever hopes he had to recover in time for the 2010 midterms are now vanishing in thin air. Nevada’s political discussion over the fiscal crisis has been particularly chaotic, and Gibbons has displayed little political leadership. State workers have seen their pay cut, though Gibbons’s political advisers are benefiting from pay raises; and retired workers will see their premiums increased by 100%. In 2010, Gibbons could be the most endangered incumbent and is expected to face a highly competitive Republican primary.

Other Governors might not have as dreadful approval ratings, but they are certainly starting to feel the heat. In Ohio, a recent poll shows that respondents now disapprove of Ted Strickland’s handling of the economy. The Governor is up for re-election in 2010. How long can he sustain high overall approval ratings in the face of declining confidence in his economic leadership? (Colorado’s Bill Ritter faces the same question.) Like other Governors, Strickland is ordering job cuts; he is also putting himself at risk by refusing to play with progressive taxation - he refused to halt the 21% decline in income tax signed by his Republican predecessors - while supporting increasing regressive taxation like fees for basic services.

Also, it will be interesting to see how Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Texas Governor Rick Perry and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford will be affected by their decision not to take some of the stimulus funds. Palin and Perry are up for re-election next year. The former is not expected to face a competitive race, while the latter will be faced by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primary, Hutchison’s vote against the stimulus makes it hard for her to make it an issue. As for Sanford, he is the executive of one of the poorest state’s in the country: Will Democrats be able to regain their footing in the Palmetto State by blasting the GOP for endangering the state’s economic situation further?


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NV: Heck’s decision testifies to Reid’s improving fortunes and Gibbons’s worsening state

Former Republican state Senator Joe Heck is set to announce that he is jumping in Nevada’s gubernatorial race. This might not seem like major news, but the circumstances make it an important development: Heck was a prominent state Senator before his narrow 2008 defeat; he was mentioned as a challenger to Majority Leader Harry Reid; and the Governor’s seat is held by a fellow Republican so Heck is challenging an incumbent in a primary, and

Will anyone rise to challenge Reid?

Once considered to be the 2010 cycle’s most endangered Democratic Senator, Harry Reid’s re-election prospects have shot up dramatically over the past few months as the GOP’s efforts to recruit a top-tier challenge have been repeatedly frustrated.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki was viewed as the strongest potential challenger, but his early December indictement on four charges of misappropriation and falsification of accounts makes it unlikely that Krolicki can mount a credible Senate run. A month earlier, two other potential Senate candidates - Rep. Jon Porter and state Senator Joe Heck - were defeated in their re-election races by Democratic opponents.

While these defeats damaged their credibility, they certainly do not prevent them from choosing to challenge Reid - but it now looks like neither will make a run after all. Last week, we learned that Porter had taken a new job that would suggest he is leaning against a Senate run. And today, we learned that Heck has decided to jump in the gubernatorial race - which means that Reid has gotten rid of yet another potential challenger!

That leaves the GOP with only two obvious Republican recruits: Porter (his new job makes a political comeback more unlikely, but it does not rule it out) and Rep. Dean Heller, who is said to be leaning towards the gubernatorial race as well.

Worse still, Porter’s and Heck’s recent moves demonstrate the GOP’s increasing loss of confidence about the Nevada race. Gone are the upbeat assertions that Reid’s partisan role in the Senate would lead to his sure downfall. Gone are the days in which the Senate Majority Leader topped the list of vulnerable Democrats. In fact, the situation has changed so dramatically that one of the state’s most important Republican fundraisers, Sid Rogich, announced last month that he would back Harry Reid’s re-election campaign!

Rogich justified his move by articulating what will surely be Reid’s chief campaign argument. “Nevada needs to understand at this perilous time in our state’s history, why would you ever think about getting rid of the majority leader of the U.S. Senate?” he said. Rogich went on to praise “what he’s provided for this state in terms of water and resources, and on negotiated delicate settlements that are going on, what he’s done to fight Yucca as much as any single human being can do, and the transportation components that have been built throughout the years.”

Now, all the NRSC is looking for is a candidate - any candidate - to take advantage of a potential Reid stumble. This is the situation Democrats were in last year against Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell: A series of potential top-tier challengers announced they would not make a run, so the DSCC settled on wealthy businessman Bruce Lunsford. In the fall, the economic crisis gave Lunsford an opening in the fall, and he was able to ride the wave of discontent all the way to a statistical tie. McConnell ended up surviving by 6%.

If Porter and Heller pass on the race, as is now expected, the NRSC would need to recruit a second or third-tier candidate, preferably one with deep pockets. They then need to hope their candidate is a decent campaigner, not prone to gaffes and wait to see whether the political environment is as toxic for Democrats in 2010 as it was for Republicans in 2008. Not an impossible scenario, but certainly a tall order.

Governor Gibbons is not doing well

What is particularly extraordinary about Heck’s decision is that he is ready to announce that he is jumping in the gubernatorial race, which is occupied by a member of his own party. In other words: He is choosing to challenge Governor Jim Gibbons in the Republican primary rather than Harry Reid in the Senate race.

Gibbons has grown to be arguably the most unpopular Governor in the nation. His approval rating is disastrous (25% in a recent poll), he is surrounded by controversy, and Republicans are hoping he does not seek re-election. The financial crisis is making Gibbons’s situation even more precarious. While Governors in all states are the first to be held responsible for a state’s budgetary woes, Nevada’s political discussion over the fiscal crisis has been particularly chaotic. Whatever political capital Gibbons had left appears to have been dissipated, as testified by today’s headline in The Las Vegas Sun, “Is Anyone in Charge of Nevada?”

Gov. Jim Gibbons was a weak presence in Carson City before he announced this week that he would not sign a room tax increase included in his own budget, according to lawmakers and political observers. The angry response to that decision is further evidence that legislators, even in his own party, have turned away from his leadership, they say.

The observers say the question now is who, if anyone, is leading the state, which is confronting a $2.36 billion budget deficit, rising foreclosures and a sputtering gaming industry. The answer that many offer is troubling.

Needless to say, Gibbons is vulnerable in 2010. If he chooses to run for re-election, he is expected to be challenged in the Republican primary - but the fact that Heck is publicizing his decision before Gibbons makes any announcement about his plans is a testament to the contempt with which the Governor is held by many in his own party. It will be interesting to look for Heller’s reaction to Heck’s move.



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    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • All good things must come to an end

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What remains on the table

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Results thread, part 2: Dems suffer staggering losses in House and legislatives races, limit damage in statewide races

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election Night results thread: Rep. Boucher’s fall first surprise of the night

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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